Review: Mary E. Martin weaves an intricate tale of intrigue and betrayal in Final Paradox, the second entry of the Osgoode Trilogy.
One doesn't so much read Final Paradox as be drawn into it. There are only six or so principal characters, the central, but in many ways least interesting, being Toronto attorney Harry Jenkins. The interlocking relationships between them are only revealed as necessary to further the plot. Martin is effective in keeping extraneous information to a minimum, focusing instead on how a missing stock certificate has influenced and continues to affect the lives of these people.
The certificate, and its whereabouts, is central to the story. At some point in the past, a group of con men made off with millions of dollars of money intended to fund a new drug company, Elixicorp. And then the money, and the shares in the company, disappeared. The man entrusted with both, Arthur Dinnick, died soon after the swindle and his widow, Norma, now elderly and in both poor physical and mental health, seems unable or unwilling to help locate the missing fortune.
The story moves along briskly, with Norma filling in historical details while reminiscing about, or probably more accuractely, retreating to, the past. The most serious plot hole is the "why now?" question. Why, after all these years, is retrieving the shares so important? Why didn't Dinnick's associates take action soon after his death, when presumably they would have been easier to locate? A credible answer can be inferred by the reader, but is never actually presented as fact by the author. And that the book ends without resolving some other plot points doesn't come as a disappointment, for the enjoyment here is in the journey.
Acknowledgment: Author Marketing Experts provided a copy of Final Paradox for this review.
Review Copyright © 2007 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
A Trial of One
iUniverse (Hardcover), September 2007
ISBN-13: 9780595688319; ISBN-10: 0595688314
Location(s) referenced in Final Paradox: Toronto, Ontario
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Final Paradox by Mary E. Martin — The Osgoode Trilogy
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: November 2006
List Price: $17.95